closing bell

Dow Closes Up 116, Nasdaq Picks Up 13

Stocks rose Tuesday, helped by strong earnings from home improvement companies, such as Home Depot and Lowe's, which reported earnings Monday that beat Wall Street forecasts, compounded evidence that the U.S. housing market is maintaining its recovery.
Associated Press,

NEW YORK (AP) -- A jump in home sales and strong earnings from Home Depot helped the Dow claw back more than half of its losses from Monday. Improving consumer confidence also brought back buyers to the market.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 115.96 points, or 0.8 percent, to 13,900.13. The Dow fell 216 points the day before, its biggest drop in three months, on concern that the European debt crisis may flare up again. The index has moved 100 points or more on four out of the past five trading days.

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The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 9.09 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,496.94. The Nasdaq composite was up 13.40 points, or 0.4 percent, at 3,129.65.

Home Depot, the biggest home improvement store chain in the country, jumped $3.64, or 5.7 percent, to $67.56 after reporting that its income rose 32 percent in the latest quarter thanks to strong U.S. sales and the cleanup that followed Superstorm Sandy. That made it the biggest gainer in the Dow, accounting for about 28 points, or about a quarter, of its advance.

"Companies on the whole, particularly U.S. companies, are doing well," Michael Mussio, a portfolio manager at FBB Capital, said.

Strong earnings from home improvement companies, such as Home Depot and Lowe's, which reported earnings Monday that beat Wall Street forecasts, compounded evidence that the U.S. housing market is maintaining its recovery, Mussio said. Also Tuesday, the government reported that sales of new homes jumped 16 percent last month to the highest level since July 2008.

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The report boosted housing companies, which led the S&P 500 higher. PulteGroup rose $1.03, or 5.7 percent, to $19.05, edging out Home Depot as the biggest gainer in the index. D.R. Horton advanced 88 cents, or 4.12 percent, to $22.25 and Lennar Corp. rose $1.35, or 3.7 percent, to $38.01.

The rebounding housing sector has been an important factor behind a rally that pushed the Dow above 14,000 last week, close to its record high close of 14,164 reached in October 2007. The Dow is still up 6 percent this year, even after Monday's sell-off. The S&P 500 is up 5 percent.

Also Tuesday, a measure of consumer confidence rose sharply, reversing three months of declines, as shoppers began adjusting to a payroll tax hike last month.

Investors closely watched testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The Fed chairman said that the automatic government spending cuts due to take effect Friday would put a drag on the economy. He urged lawmakers and the White House to replace the cuts with longer-term policies to reduce the budget deficit.

Investors shouldn't be dissuaded from buying stocks by any flare-up in Europe's economic troubles, says Hans Olsen, a strategist at Barclays. The strategist says stocks should have a good year thanks to earnings growth and a pickup in corporate dealmaking.

Deals have accelerated sharply in the last three months and have involved household names including Heinz, Dell and American Airlines. Some of the acquired companies soared 20 percent or more when the deals are announced.

It's not yet clear how the recent see-saw in the market will affect investors. Individual investors have been creeping back into stocks since the start of this year, but the swings might yet unnerve them.

"The gyrations worry them, it scares them, even though the market is up," says Gabriel Fancher, an adviser at the Financial Group, a financial planner. "The market seems out of people's hands these days."

Tuesday's good news about the economy in the U.S. helped investors turn their focus away from Europe.

While U.S. market rose, European markets fell again as investors worried about Italy's political situation. The country is facing political gridlock after elections left Parliament with no clear-cut winner.

U.S. stocks slumped Monday after election results in Italy showed a race too close to call. That left investors fearful that the country, the euro region's third-largest, will struggle to form a government that can move forward with reforms to revive the economy, rekindling the region's debt crisis and worries over the viability of its shared currency, the euro.

Italy's main stock index dropped 4.9 percent Tuesday. The yield on Italy's benchmark government bond rose sharply, to 4.83 percent from 4.43 percent the day before, as investors sold them. That's still far below the 7 percent the yield traded at in January 2012, when confidence in Italy's finances was far lower. The euro was little changed against the dollar.

Other European indexes also fell, but not as much. Stocks fell 2.3 percent in Germany, 2.7 percent in France, and 1.3 percent in Britain.

In U.S. government bond trading, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which moves inversely to prices, rose two basis points to 1.88 percent.

Among other companies making big moves Tuesday;

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Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 25, 2016
  • 1.
    5.5/18
  • 2.
    2.6/8
  • 3.
    1.2/4
  • 4.
    0.9/3
  • 5.
    0.5/2
  • 6.
    0.2/1
Source: Nielsen

Reviews

  • Rob Owen

    Easily fall’s best broadcast network comedy pilot, NBC’s The Good Place offers a clever high-concept premise that’s complemented with intelligent, sometimes absurdist humor. Created by Michael Schur, co-creator of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, The Good Place is a highly serialized series that’s essentially set in heaven and stars Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. NBC made five episodes of The Good Place available for review, and the show not only holds up, but also it improves, deepening characters that initially feel one-note and frequently leaving viewers guessing with cliffhanger endings to many of the episodes. The combination of snappy dialogue and winning but flawed characters makes The Good Place a great bet for fans of smart TV comedy.

  • Maureen Ryan

    Pitch has swagger, for good reason. It gets the big things right; the Fox drama about the first female baseball player in the Major Leagues is one of the year’s most assured and exciting debuts. But part of what impresses about the pilot is also the way it confidently strings together so many small but telling details. Ginny (Kylie Bunbury) is the first woman to be called up from the minors to the big leagues, and no show since Friday Night Lights has done a better job of portraying the internal and external pressures that weigh heavily on young athletes asked to do much more than merely succeed on the field. Pitch will likely do a good job of getting viewers to root for it. The hope is that the show won’t be an impressive, short-lived curiosity, but rather a long-term phenomenon.

  • Kevin Fallon

    In a fall TV season that’s already making a splash for championing diverse, distinctive voices in an array of projects that they created, wrote, and starred in, Better Things on FX stands out. The show is created by, written by, and starsPamela Adlon. She plays Sam Fox, the single mother of three daughters modeled after her own reality-show-ready experience raising three girls in Los Angeles following a divorce. Sam is also, like Adlon, a working actress — on shows both raunchy, a la Californication, and animated for children, like her role on Recess. It’s a refreshingly blunt take on single motherhood without sacrificing the warmth of parental love, portraying the dance between selfishness and selflessness that’s at the heart of being a parent — especially one weathering the hormonal fireworks of a household of four women at different ages.

  • David Wiegand

    The fall TV season doesn’t count as much as it used to — we already know that. But no matter how many retreads the broadcast networks throw at viewers in the next few months, this fall will be memorable because of the premiere of Atlanta on Tuesday, Sept. 6, on FX. The half-hour comedy created by and starring Donald Glover (Community), simply and brilliantly recalibrates our expectations of what a TV comedy is and how black lives are portrayed on the medium.

  • Louisa Ada Seltzer

    The second reboot of the 1980s John Candy movie Uncle Buck, bumped by ABC from midseason, has the same tired jokes you'll find on any second-rate sitcom. Too bad, because Mike Epps is appealing and ABC would be wise to keep him around for future shows, but there’s just not enough to this show to suggest it will last past summer. It also airs against NBC’s America’s Got Talent, summer’s No. 1 program on broadcast, which may make it even harder to find an audience.

  • Neil Genzlinger

    Bryan Cranston brings his Tony Award-winning interpretation of President Lyndon B. Johnson to television in an adaptation of the Robert Schenkkan play All the Way, and it’s still quite a sight to behold, just as it was on Broadway in 2014. Nothing beats witnessing this kind of larger-than-life portrayal onstage, of course. But the television version, presented by HBO, offers plenty of rewards, allowing Cranston to work the close-ups and liberating him from the confines of a theater set. Cranston’s performance is a gem — in his hands, this accidental president comes across as an amazing bundle of contradictions, someone who seems at once too vulgar for the job and just right for it.

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